Ungulates adapted to desert areas are able to survive extreme temperatures and limited water availability. This ability is largely due to behavioral, morphological, and physiological adaptations that allow these animals to avoid or tolerate extreme environmental conditions. The physiological adaptations possessed by ungulates for thermoregulation and maintenance of water balance have been the subject of numerous studies involving a wide range of species. In this report we review the behavioral, morphological, and physiological mechanisms used by ungulates and other desert mammals to maintain water and temperature balance in arid environments. We also review some of the more commonly used methods for studying the physiological mechanisms involved in water balance and thermoregulation, and the influence of dehydration on these mechanisms.
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USGS Numbered Series
Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography: Water Requirements of Desert Ungulates